Monday, April 23, 2007

Kingdom of Aliens

I was snapping images over towards Strathpeffer when I picked up this in the dark sky, I have blown it up a bit. It made me think that if aliens came to earth then these are the terms which could maybe set us apart as a race.
Was this really an alien craft? It is a genuine image I took, but thats not the point. You see I was thinking about the alien nature of the Kingdom of God (not church), and it struck me that these are all words/characteristics/signs and attitudes that you will never find in the Kingdom of Heaven...Never!!


Shieldsy said...

They're also words that you won't find in any political party manifesto, or any PC document.

I don't agree you won't find them in the KoG. The one that particualrly annoys me whenever I see it any manifesto of any sort is the word "discrimination".

I once challenged a school about their use of it. Apparently they didn't want their children to discriminate. I told them that I was raising my children to be very discriminating ... I want them to discrimintae between what is right & wrong, truth & lies, healthy & unhealthy, good friends & bad friends. What they mean is UNFAIR discrimination (or prejudice is a better word).

"Tolerant" ... don't get me started on that! I know a lot of organisations that claim to be both tolerant and yet have zero-tolerance policies, without any apparent sense of irony!!

"Hate" ... there's plenty of it in the old & new testament. A few months back we taught the children the (New Testament) scripture "Hate what is evil, hold on to what is right".

Shieldsy said...

And what's wrong with ignorance?

No bias? Isn't the gospel biased to the poor and the downtrodden?

Maybe you could add the phrase "people pleasing bullshit" to the list though ... hope there isn't any of that in the KoG.

Dave Lynch said...

Seems to me like you've got scared of certain words shieldsy and have become PC without realising it, in the true sense of the words I can state you will not find them in the Kingdom

Defo no 'people pleasing in the kingdom', the church has got the monopoly on that one...

discrimination - Never heard Jesus saying 'you cant come in cos your a sinner or a jew or a gentile or ???

discriminate means exactly what it always has - to show favour to a person based on your own prejudices

tolerant has always meant to be forebearing or long suffering

too not hate was meant in a personal context (did I really need to explain that!)- like i hate a certain person, or as in...Jesus said to the samaritan woman 'I hate you fag'

ignorance - as in 'i do not care what you believe, I'm right and your wrong' or 'I'm not answering your question'

bias - as in 'an unreasoned and prejudiced judgment'

Dont think its predjudiced to the poor, certain gospels (Luke) appealed to woman and the poor, but I always read the gospel as equal to all mankind, you must be reading a different one to me.

Shieldsy said...

Looks like we're going to end up with an argument about semantics! I guess the language has evolved so that words no longer reflect their original meaning.

To be discriminating is to exercise discernment (same root word) and is actually a positive trait and something that I think scripture quite clearly asks members of God's Kingdom to practice. Not to be confused with prejudice.

Intolerant ... the word is so maligned nowadays it's almost a capital offence to admit to being intolerant (of course, unless it's things about which there is zero-tolerance of!). Still think that there will be some things which will have a zero-tolerance attitude towards in the KoG ... though they are different to things those outside the Kingdom will find 'intolerable'.

Your definition of ignorance seems more like indiffence or arrogance to me. Ignorance is about lack of knowledge. Knowledge has the effect of creating pride. It was the tree of knowledge that got us into this mess in the first place! Some of the most wonderful Christians I've ever met have be blissfully ignorant/uneducated/unqualified.

Bias ... think we must be reading scripture through different lenses, coz it would seem to me that there is a very blatant bias towards the poor and the oppressed. Even his "mission statement" in Lk 4:18-19 makes it clear who His bias will be towards and he deliberately seems to put obstacles in the path of the rich.

Anyway, without going further into a word-by-word counter-arguments, my point is that sweeping statements like "these are all words/characteristics/signs and attitudes that you will never find in the Kingdom of Heaven...Never!!" are vastly over simplistic and not entirely accurate, even if they sound good on first hearing and get you brownie points with some.

Dave Lynch said...

I know what i meant by the words I used and therefore it is not vastly over simplistic and is accurate.

Also perplexed by the thought that Jesus or Luke put obstacles in front of the rich!! It seems the rich tripped themselves up, Jesus gave them a way in, they rejected it, is that bias to the poor?

What did interest me is your thought that I may be trying to 'get brownie points with some'.

This is bizarre, who could I possible want to impress and please?

Cannot be God, there is nothing I can do to impress God
Cannot be a church or organisation, I do not belong to any

Who is it that you think I may be trying to get points with?

The Kingdom of God is not about words, this post was not about words, it was about attitudes of heart, I think living in a PC correct region of the UK has made you see demons on every corner.


Shieldsy said...

I fear you may be a little bit too much on the defensive Dave. This is not a criticism of you but a critique of a way of thinking that to me seems increasingly common in order to curry favour with "the world". Namely a kind of simplistic "John Lennon" sort of theology (... imagine ... all we need is love etc).

It's message seems so self-evidently laudable that no-one dare question it for fear of being considered the complete antipathy of it. Who dares to be labelled intolerant, hateful, discriminating, biased, sectarian etc in this day & age?

I question whether those words/characteristics/signs and attitudes will not be found in the KoG. Some I'd agree with you on, but there's quite a few I wouldn't.

As with a lot of things, I believe there is a good and bad connotation to many of those words ... there is good and bad discrimination, good and bad nationalism, good and bad bias, good and bad intolerance, good and bad segregation, good and bad ignorance etc. However we need God's wisdom, and His spirit to help us in our discernment (discrimintaion!) - a task that's bound to be full of disagreement whilst we're this side of Heaven.

The question about whether Jesus' ministry had a particular bias towards any particular people is an interesting one ... maybe worthy of a post all on it's own?

Dave Lynch said...

Thanks Shieldsy, no not defensive, but you know what it's like when people assume, be a bit like me telling you what your wife is like (hi to mrs shieldsy who I do not know)

You see those words i wrote are what the Kingdom is not about, and if the Kingdom is within then this is how it is for me. Thats not to say that we cannot have opinions, its just that your assumption that I would do this to curry favour with the local tandoori is unfair.

All we do need is love, and that love is best defined in Jesus life. I myself have consistently questioned all, church, islam, JW's , mormons, philosophers, and none have been able to offer a greater truth than that revealed by jesus.

I am sure I am labelled intolerant, hateful, discriminating, biased, sectarian etc by some in this day & age? But not because I choose that, and I am certainly not scared of it, couldn't really give a toss what anyone thinks, as long as I act just and right with compassion and from selfless motives.

To take one of your points, how would see an example of good and bad nationalism in respect of the KoG?

The question about whether Jesus' ministry had a particular bias is worth pursuing. He never had a bias, but he did have a calling to the children of Israel...God once again trying to resurrect his son Israel for the good of the nations.

Shieldsy said...

Positive nationalism ... sense of pride in belonging to a particular nation (or kingdom) and of the comradeship & shared civic values. Think that they are positive values that are transferable to the KoG.


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